The health of a dog starts with nutrition and the food they eat. This especially applies to Golden retrievers. According to experts if your dog is eating high-quality food they have a lesser chance of getting seriously sick down the road. However, how do we know what the best dog food for Golden retrievers is? Is there a special kind of food we should give our Golden retrievers? And then there is the question everyone is asking, should you feed your dog raw food or is kibble okay?
How Golden retrievers differ from other dogs
If you own a Golden retriever you might wonder “How do their nutritional needs differ from the nutritional needs of other dogs?”
Generally speaking and according to experts adult dogs require a minimum of 18% protein in their diet, and puppies need at least 22%.
This is because protein provides the building blocks for strong muscles in puppies and, in adults. It also supports lean muscle maintenance. So you could say that for most dogs a higher protein content is actually a good thing.
Small dog vs. big dog
On the other hand, fat should make up at least 8% of the diet for puppies and 5% for adult dogs. Fat provides your dog with energy in the form of calories. Now, this is important because this is where Golden retrievers are different from other dogs, specifically small dogs.
Small dogs have a faster metabolism than bigger dogs, like the Golden retrievers. This means that small dogs need more calories. If the Golden retriever or any other large breed gets fed too many calories will lead to unhealthy weight gain! This is why your Golden retriever needs a protein-rich diet with low-to-moderate fat and calorie content.
Best dog food for Golden retrievers
We’ll leave the question of whether or not you should not feed your dog raw food up to you to decide. You should take into consideration all factors and do your research and understand that there are certain myths about raw food.
However, because the majority of people are feeding their dogs kibble, we’re going to focus on that in this article. I will try and explain to you what nutrients your dog needs during each life stage: puppy, adult, and senior, and what the best dog food for Golden retrievers should look like.
Puppy Golden retrievers
It is unbelievably important that you feed your Golden retriever puppy a formula that is specifically designed for large breeds! This might not seem important at first, but if will help your dog grow into a healthy adult Golden retriever! These formulas will also have the needed levels of calcium and phosphorus. It will ensure that your puppy’s bones grow at the correct rate to avoid serious health issues during your dog’s senior years.
In order to make sure your dog’s coat is shiny, glowing, and soft, he needs plenty of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, so be sure to look out for fish, flaxseed, fish oils, and chia seeds! These will also be great for your dog’s brain function, bone health, and eye development.
Adult Golden retrievers
When your Golden retriever reaches the age of one year (specifically between around month 12 to 15) you’ll need to transition to adult kibble.
Now your dog will need a much higher level of protein and healthy carbohydrates.
When reading the label look for glucosamine and chondroitin! These nutrients support your dog’s bones and joints. Of course, meat and fish are also a great source of these ingredients.
Another important thing, just as puppies need plenty of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, adult Golden retrievers do too!
Senior Golden retrievers
Remember when I said that adult Golden retrievers need a lot of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep their bones and joints supple and strong? Well, the same goes for senior Golden retrievers too! They actually need much more of it, so meat and fish meals are crucial.
So choose kibble that is specifically designed for senior Golden retrievers, because they will have the correct levels of these ingredients.
Given that old dogs are less active than puppies and adult dogs, choose a food that has less energy and calories, otherwise there is a risk that he will put on far too much weight.
Besides this, look for kibble that had antioxidants and superfoods in the ingredients! This way you’ll ensure that their weakening immune system stays strong!
As you could see your Golden retriever will have different nutritional needs in different stages of their life. So, when choosing the best dog food for Golden retrievers you should take that into consideration too! However, please be sure to always check with your veterinarian because he or she will have the most accurate advice on which food is best for your dog and which nutrients it needs.
There are of course great recommendations online too, like THIS from dogloversdigest.com.
Also, if you’re still feeling a little lost you might want to learn a little bit about reading dog food labels. This will help you make better choices in choosing your dog’s food.